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Despite Lousy Reviews, Lion King Is A Smash Hit

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Walt Disney's remake of its 1994 animated film, "The Lion King," which premiered on July 9, has far exceeded original expectations for its opening weekend, making $185 million across North American theatres alone, thereby surpassing 2011's "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2" in becoming the highest-grossing July opener and the 9th highest-grossing opening ever.

It is also this year's second highest-grossing opening film, behind Marvel's "Avengers: Endgame," which recently dethroned James Cameron's 2009 fantasy film, "Avatar," to become the highest-grossing film of all time.

Directed by Iron Man star and director, Jon Favreau, the film opened to poor reviews from top critics on Rotten Tomatoes, with NPR's Justin Chang calling it a "creative dead end," while Anthony Lane of the New Yorker wrote that "the most blatant discrepancy between the old and the new is a very slight increase in the comedy of flatulence." Despite its 53% on the site, viewers have been flocking to catch the flick in droves, with more than 88% of Google users giving it a positive review.

"We have a lot to celebrate," Disney's President of Global Distribution, Cathleen Taff said to Variety. "'The Lion King' has such a resonance in pop culture that you see all different types of people coming out. People wanted to be part of this."

The blockbuster stars A-list celebrities of the likes of Donald Glover, a.k.a Childish Gambino in lead playing Simba, Beyoncé as Nala, 12 Years A Slave star, Chiwetel Ejiofor as Scar and Billy Eicher & Seth Rogen as the iconic duo, Timon & Pumba respectively.

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